On Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that allows transgender students to use the bathroom or choose sports teams that align with their gender identity, not biological sex.
Los Angeles and San Francisco county school districts already allow students to choose bathrooms and sports with the gender they identify as, but with the new law all school districts in California must allow its students to do the same.
Ilona Turner of the Transgender Law Center hailed the decision, saying “[This law is] going to send [students] a message that they are a part of the school community and that they are valued and that we want to see them participate fully and want to see them succeed. That’s a powerful message that, frankly, they have not been getting up to this point.”
State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) told reporters, “While many California schoolchildren are already protected by policies in some of our biggest school districts other districts don’t seem to understand that transgender students should have equal access to all programs and facilities.”
While Connecticut and Massachusetts have statewide protection policies, California is the first state to put statewide protections for transgender students into law.
Media Resources: Associated Press 8/12/2013; Los Angeles Times 8/12/2013; Reuters 8/12/2013